Mara Salvatrucha


The Mara Salvatrucha gang is feared and loathed by many. The individual members of this gang are tattooed on their backs and faces and they make use of special sign language techniques of communication. The gang is responsible for many deaths and drug cartels have often borrowed some services from this gang. You may wonder when this group started and how it came to be so powerful. The MS-13 gang as it is commonly known started in the 1980s in Los Angeles California in the US (“Mara Salvatrucha”, 2017). The criminal gang later spread into other lands such as Canada, Mexico as well as the Central American parts and most especially El Salvador. The gang was set up by the Salvadorian immigrants living in the Pico-Union neighborhood. The Salvadoran immigrants had fled the terror that was going on in their country due to the start of the civil war in the 1980s. The group started with good intentions with its main aim being to protect the Salvadoran immigrants from the local gangs of Los-Angeles who were composed of African Americans and Mexicans. The influence of this criminal gang would later spread like bush fire to other regions and grow to reach immense levels.

Many MS-13 gang members from the Los Angeles area were deported to their home countries. Upon getting back to their lands, the criminals embarked on a mission of recruiting more gang members in their home countries. In essence, deportation led to the robust growth of the gang. One may wonder why the gang is so powerful and how it gets money. Well, the gang has managed spread to almost all parts of the North American continent. Due to the presence of representatives in different states, it has managed to expand its business networks by inventing a variety of illegal activities. Under the Obama administration, sanctions were levied against the group by the U.S government since they were involved in a number of crimes that included racketeering, murder, sex trafficking, human trafficking as well as prostitution (“MS-13: How a deadly gang gained strength in the DC area”, 2017). The MS-13 also employs violence as a way of extorting money from people. For a certainty, they get most of their incomes from extortions (“How MS-13, One of America’s Most Dangerous Gangs, is Funded”, 2017).

The group has also made a set of internal laws with the aim of ensuring tyranny of numbers. The laws make it difficult for the individual gang members to turn a new leaf. Simply put, the laws governing this gang ensures that there is no way out for any gang member. Deserters of the gang are usually killed, and the tattoos on the face ensure that any person who happens to leave the group will be spotted from afar and punished for his actions. The other factor that multiplies the strength of this group is coalitions. The group has made contracts with other gangs in need of their services. Other criminal gangs such as the Mexican Mafias and the Los Zetas use the services of the MS 13 gang members while trafficking drugs and engaging in other illegal businesses. Indeed, the influence of the MS13 gang is great and as days go by, the gang continues to grow in number and might.

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  1. How MS-13, One of America’s Most Dangerous Gangs, is Funded. (2017). Fox Business.
  2. Mara Salvatrucha. (2017). Mara Salvatrucha.
  3. MS-13: How a deadly gang gained strength in the DC area. (2017). WTOP.
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